Celebrate Valentine’s Day with this quick, but tasty pasta dish. Penne with arugula, roasted peppers, and lemon ricotta is sure to impress your valentine, but won’t keep you tied up in the kitchen!
Happy Monday, y’all! I hope the weekend was good to you. Ours was spent picking out a new mattress, as well as setting up the guest bedroom… #adulting. We also hit up another local winery for a wine tasting. That was my favorite part of the weekend. ?
I find it hilarious that when Kyle and I do wine tastings, we blow through the samples in record time. Everyone around us sips slowly and discusses each wine… not us. We just down those samples, pick our favorite, buy a bottle, and head home. Perhaps we just aren’t fancy enough? ?
Anyway, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! Will you be celebrating? If so, I’ve got you covered with an easy pasta dish that won’t keep you tied up in the kitchen. Even if you aren’t celebrating, you’ll still love this pasta dish!
Penne with Arugula, Roasted Red Peppers, and Lemon Ricotta
This pasta dish is one of my absolute favorites that I’ve been making for years. It’s super versatile, simple to put together, and is full of flavor! Depending on the season and what you like, you can swap out the arugula and roasted red peppers for other veggies. In the summer I love to use tomatoes and zucchini and in spring, asparagus and spinach are delish!
Regardless of what veggies you choose, the lemon ricotta is a must. It makes the dish. It’s creamy, cool, and brightly flavored with lemon zest. The whole thing is topped off with toasted pine nuts for crunch and freshly shaved parmigiano-reggiano.
The “sauce” is essentially just garlic-infused olive oil… similar to how you would make aglio e olio. Sliced garlic is slow cooked in olive oil with a pinch of red pepper flakes. YUM! If you’re worried about it being too garlicky (not possible!), don’t. By cooking the garlic slowly and then adding in some pasta water, that raw garlic taste goes away and you’re left with an almost sweet, mild garlic flavor.
This pasta dish is also perfect with spaghetti in place of the penne. I go back and forth between both depending on what I’m in the mood for. If you’re really feel ambitious, you could make some homemade pasta! But, let’s be real, Valentine’s Day is on a Tuesday… so I highly doubt any of us have time for homemade pasta.
Have a fabulous week and enjoy Valentine’s Day with all the ones you love! ?
- 12 oz. Gluten-Free Penne, or your favorite pasta
- ¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
- Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes, optional
- 2 Cups Fresh Arugula
- ½ Cup Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- ¾ Cup Ricotta Cheese
- The Zest of 1 Lemon
- ¼ Cup Pine Nuts, toasted
- Freshly Shaved or Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for topping
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and generously salt it. Stir in the pasta and cook it one minute less than the package instructions. Drain and rinse (if you’re using regular wheat pasta, don’t rinse). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook the garlic, until fragrant and very lightly golden brown. Add ¼ cup of the pasta water and allow it to come to a low simmer.
- Add in the pasta, arugula, and roasted red peppers. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta among 4 serving dishes.
- In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Stir to combine.
- Top each portion with a dollop of the ricotta and sprinkle each with a tablespoon of the pine nuts. Top with parmesan and serve!
- *Regular wheat pasta can be used in place of gluten-free if you don't need this gluten-free!